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The latest on major Northern California news events from the Bee newsroom.

December 2, 2012
Rain turns to heavy snow in Truckee; flood danger passing

PC020024.jpegBy Barbara Barte Osborn
Bee correspondent

The Truckee River peaked Sunday morning without flooding these Riverview Drive homes near the bridge in downtown Truckee.

Near-constant rain turned to heavy snow about 10 a.m. According to the National Weather Service, the danger of flooding would pass when the snow began.

According to a 12:10 p.m. news release from the Truckee Police Department, the National Weather Service has revised the Truckee-area forecast from "flood warning" to "winter storm warning." Based on this information and the change in weather, the town's operations are transitioning from "flood watch" to "snow removal," according to the release.

December 2, 2012
Sacramento emergency officials: No injuries, significant flooding

photo-2.JPGBy Sam Stanton

Despite the length of the storm that swept through the Sacramento region, a county emergency operations official said Sunday that there were no reports of significant flooding or injuries.

"There has been some localized flooding in the south part of the county near Wilton and some reports of downed trees," said Steve Cantelme. "But there's nothing that's been reported of significance."

The rain proved a hindrance at best for the thousands of participants in the California International Marathon, but did little to dampen the enthusiasm of crowds that lined Fair Oaks Boulevard to cheer them on.

Some gawkers watched under umbrellas while others gamely erected pop-up tents or sat in parking lots under the open hatches of their SUVs and watched the colorful parade of runners.

PHOTO: An SUV makes its way down a flooded 32nd Avenue near Alhambra and Stockton boulevards in East Sacramento on Sunday morning. Bee photo by Torey Van Oot

December 2, 2012
Sacramento region battered by rain; storm total at 4.72 inches

photo-3.JPGBy Anne Gonzales

A subtropical storm system dropped 1.82 inches on Sacramento this weekend, bringing the total precipitation to 4.72 inches since Wednesday. Some areas got drenched by a significant band of rainfall Sunday morning.

Snow levels dropped to Donner Summit, and rivers are rising, while drivers encountered lakes of standing water on roads and residents scrambled to clear debris from drains to prevent flooding.

Cindy Matthews, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Sacramento, said the three-storm system is "very warm, hooked in with subtropical moisture from near Hawaii, which is bringing us multiple days of precipitation"

December 2, 2012
Thousands lose power as storms lash Sacramento region

By Darrell Smith

Power is out to thousands of homes across Sacramento County as a rain-packed third day of storms lashes the region.

Hardest hit are North Highlands, where more than 1,400 SMUD customers had no power, and Rancho Murieta, where some 1,068 customers were without power, according to the Sacramento Metropolitan Utility District. Another 776 are without power in Fair Oaks.

Many of the outages are concentrated in neighborhoods in North Highlands, Foothill Farms and Carmichael, where SMUD reports 20 or more outages affecting hundreds of residents.

December 1, 2012
Residents warned of Truckee River flood danger

By Barbara Barte Osborn

Bee Correspondent

TRUCKEE -- Emergency service officials in Placer and Nevada counties are warning residents living near the Truckee River of flood danger late this evening (Saturday) through Sunday.

People living in low-lying areas, especially in Truckee and along Highway 89 South, are being advised to take active precautions and monitor the conditions closely through media outlets and the Town of Truckee website:

Flooding and damage to homes in low-lying areas along the river is possible and residents should be ready to evacuate if needed.

Placer County has created a storm information page that will be updated as information becomes available:

Sandbags are available at Truckee Fire Station 92 on Donner Pass Road next to Truckee High School, at the Northstar and Squaw Valley fire stations, the North Tahoe Fire Station in Kings Beach and the Truckee Ranger District office.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting the river will reach near 8 feet between 3 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday along Highway 89 and near the Placer/Nevada County line.

December 1, 2012
Flood warnings issued for Napa, Russian rivers

With another powerful storm heading to Northern California, the National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for the Napa and Russian rivers.

Forecasters say the Napa River is expected to rise above flood stage around noon Sunday near the city of Napa and near St. Helena, while the Russian River is expected to flood near Guerneville early Monday morning.

Besides the danger of flooding, forecasters are also warning about the possibility of mudslides and of trees falling in the area because the ground is saturated from the previous storms.

A flash flood watch is also in effect for a wide area of Northern California through Sunday evening.

- The Associated Press

December 1, 2012
Wind and rain down trees, limbs in valley

By Edward Ortiz

Wind and rain caused the downing of trees and tree limbs including the collapse of a century-old heritage oak in the Briggs Oak subdivision where a 75-foot oak sheared off near the base Saturday night and crashed into the home of Folsom resident Mike Pilat.

"It sounded like a freight train," said Pilat, who owns the property at 102 Skidmore Court. "This is a big boy that fell here."

More than 2 inches of rainfall has been recorded at the Sacramento Executive Airport in the last 72 hours. The National Weather Service expects 1 to 3 inches of rain in the Sacramento region through Sunday evening.

A flood watch remains in effect for the Sacramento Valley through Sunday afternoon. The region is also under a wind advisory that is expected to last through Sunday afternoon, with southerly gusts from 15 to 25 mp., and gusts up to 40 mph likely.

Rivers in the region will be vulnerable to flooding in the Sacramento Valley, although most are below flood stage. An exception is Deer Creek upstream and where it makes a crossing at Scott Road.

The upper Sacramento River is expected to reach flood stage at a number of locations on Sunday and Monday, the weather service said. In the Sierras, damaging wind gusts and several feet of snow are forecast, with major flood warnings in effect for the Truckee River near Truckee, and some tributaries in Nevada and Placer Counties.

The snow level may drop as low as 6,000 feet in the Sierras by early Sunday morning.

December 1, 2012
Video report: Truckee River in danger of flooding

Neighbors of the Truckee River are hoping they don't get a repeat of the Flood of 1955 as Fox40's Sonseeahray Tonsall reports.

December 1, 2012
Report: Folsom man's house floods

Fox40 reports about how a clogged storm drain can do a lot of damage. Just ask this Folsom man, whose house flooded.

December 1, 2012
High swells on the coast come with warning

Besides the possibility of flooding in local rivers, streams and creeks, the storm is also expected to cause problems along the coast.

The National Weather Service has issued a high surf advisory, with swells expected to be 14 to 16 feet.

- The Associated Press

December 1, 2012
National Weather Service: 'Biggest concern is what's coming in tonight'

Another day, another storm.

The winter weather has returned to the Sacramento region, after a brief break Friday afternoon. Sacramento has received 3 inches of rainfall since Wednesday. The National Weather Service is predicting more rain and high winds tonight and Sunday.

"Our biggest concern is what's coming in tonight," said Stefanie Henry, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Sacramento. "Expect winds up to 40 miles per hour."

The latest storm will pack a stronger punch than the one on Friday. Winds could create traffic hazards and knock out power. The new rains could mean more flooding.

November 30, 2012
Roadway flooding, minor accidents reported in Sacramento area

Although rain tapered off this afternoon in the Sacramento area, the California Highway Patrol has been responding to a number of minor collisions and reports of local roadway flooding.

In El Dorado County, a vehicle ended up in a creek at Highway 49 and Forgotten Loop, between Coloma and Pilot Hill. CHP spokesman Officer Frank Rodriguez said the driver was trapped in the vehicle for a time and has been taken to Marshall Hospital in Placerville with minor injuries. He said alcohol may have contributed to the incident, which was reported shortly after 2 p.m.

For information on traffic incidents and roadway hazards, see the California Highway Patrol's Traffic Incident Information Page.

November 30, 2012
Caution urged along American River: Flows increase tonight

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will boost water releases from Folsom and Nimbus dams into the American River in response to heavy rainfall delivered by Friday's storm.

Flows will ramp up slowly, starting at 8 p.m. Friday, from 1,800 cubic feet per second to 5,000 by 10 p.m.

The river level is expected to increase by about 2 feet, inundating many shoreline areas that are now exposed. People recreating along the river in the Sacramento metro area are advised to be aware and cautious of this change in water levels and flow velocities.

November 30, 2012
Weather won't stop Sacramento's Santa Parade on Saturday

By Richard Chang

The 30th annual Santa Parade will go on rain or shine Saturday, organizers said today.

Featuring floats, marching bands and youth groups, the parade kicks off its downtown route at 10:00 a.m. from 14th and N streets alongside Capitol Park. The route travels west on N Street to 9th Street, north on 9th to L, and west on L Street to 4th Street. The event has been cancelled only once for bad weather.

"Wind is the only reason we would cancel," said parade organizer Laurie Hensley. The highlight of the parade is a special visit from Santa Claus. The announcers' stands will be at 11th and N streets and 5th and L streets.

In past years, the parade has drawn more than 20,000 onlookers. But Hensley said the showing tomorrow is "anybody's guess."

November 30, 2012
Sierra ski resorts cheer heavy snows

By Richard Chang

Sierra Nevada ski resorts are celebrating the heavy snow piling up on their peaks from a series of wet winter storms sweeping across California.

Though snow levels have been mostly above 7,000 feet with these storms, that is still low enough to drop a lot of snow on the ski areas, which are eager for it after relatively sparse snow conditions last year.

"It's been snowing all day, all night," Russ Pecor, spokesman for Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe, said Friday. "We've got about a foot of new snow in the upper mountain. We could reach 18 inches by the end of the day."

November 30, 2012
California roundup: Storm brings intense rain, flood warnings


The Associated Press

The second in a series of storms slammed Northern California on Friday as heavy rain and strong winds knocked out power, tied up traffic and caused flooding along some stretches.View image

The weather also may be behind the death of a Pacific Gas & Electric worker in West Sacramento who was killed after his truck crashed into a traffic signal pole during the stormy weather.

A flash flood watch will remain in effect for most of the San Francisco Bay area extending to the Santa Cruz Mountains throughout the weekend. A constant barrage of heavy to moderate downpours could lead to standing water and numerous drains being flooded, said Diana Henderson, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Monterey.

The North Bay was seemingly hit the hardest as parts of Sonoma County received more than 7.5 inches of rain and areas in Napa County received nearly 6 inches, Henderson said.

"It's not a superstorm by any measure, but this is pretty significant," she said. "We should see periods of moderate to heavy rains."

November 30, 2012
Semi slams into center divider on I-5, south of Sutterville Road

LS JACKKNIFEDA.jpgA traffic accident on Interstate 5 in Sacramento involving a jack-knifed big rig has been cleared.

The rig hit a center guard rail on I-5 just south of Sutterville Road about 8:30 a.m, causing traffic to back up in both directions of the freeway. California HIghway Patrol cleared the accident at 10:47 a.m.

One lane in each direction was blocked. Diesel fuel was spilled on the roadway.

- Bill Lindelof

Photo caption: A jack-knifed big rig is removed from the southbound lane of Interstate 5 near the Seamas Avenute exit in Sacramento on Friday, Nov. 30. Photo by Lezlie Sterling /

Here's Fox40's video of the jack-knife.

November 30, 2012
Beach walkers should be mindful of sneaker waves

In a press release, State Parks officials warn visitors to ocean beaches to watch out for rogue waves during the stormy weekend:

"All visitors to water recreation areas need to be aware of the fact that many people drown when caught by the periodic waves often called sneaker or rogue waves. It happens when people walk right at the surf line, not expecting that any wave will suddenly go much farther up the beach than other waves they are seeing. Some are so powerful that they knock people off their feet and drag them back into the ocean."

"Winter storms and sea conditions can dramatically increase the dangers along our coastal areas," said Ronilee Clark, a state parks deputy director.

Northern California boy swept out to sea still missing

November 30, 2012
Flash flood warnings along coast; power out on Bay Bridge

From the Associated Press: Some coastal areas of Northern California were under a flash flood watch early Friday morning, with Sonoma County in the San Francisco Bay area under a more severe flash flood warning until 9:15 a.m. Thousands of people were without power.

A power outage also affected the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, where at least the suspension span was briefly in the dark.

Officials say another storm is expected over the weekend, creating the possibility of rock and mud slides in areas that are already saturated and have been affected by wild fires.

November 30, 2012
Update: Highway 16 near Rumsey is open again

Caltrans reported that Highway 16 in Yolo and Colusa counties has re-opened after earlier being closed due to flooding and mudslides.

Motorists earlier were advised by Caltrans to avoid Highway 16 from the junction of Highway 20 in Colusa County to about a mile south of Rumsey in Yolo County due to the flooding and mudslides.

November 30, 2012
Heavy rain, gusty winds keeping work crews busy, drivers wary

By Bill Lindelof

RP RAIN CLOGGED STORN DRAINB.jpgThe first strong punch from this week's series of storms arrived overnight, delivering heavy rain and gusty winds.

Moving into the Sacramento region just as trees were losing their leaves, the soaking autumn storm kept municipal crews working through the night. At 5:15 a.m., in a driving rain, a City of Sacramento worker was dutifully using a rake to remove leaves from atop a gutter grate on H Street near Mercy Hospital.

Early morning commuters had to deal with dicey driving conditions. High winds threw palm fronds onto city streets and downpours pooled water on freeway offramps.

As of 5 a.m., rainfall totals were already substantial. From 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., totals included: .86 of an inch in Sacramento, .66 in Elk Grove, .79 in Rancho Cordova, .82 in Fair Oaks, .90 at Folsom Lake, .86 at Roseville, .73 at Loomis and 1.46 at Auburn.

November 29, 2012
Flood warning issued as new storm arrives

By Matt Weiser

ggbridge.jpgWeather officials late Thursday upgraded their flood advisory to a "warning" for most of Northern California as the second in a series of warm, wet storms moved into the state.

The flood warning, issued by the National Weather Service, lasts through 3:15 p.m. Friday and covers virtually all of the state's interior from Woodland north. A warning means that flooding is imminent or has already been reported.

Rainfall amounts of 2 to 3 inches over the Sacramento Valley and 4 to 8 inches over the mountains are expected during the period of the flood warning. Rapid rises in small streams and possible flooding along them is anticipated in some locations, especially on streams feeding the upper Sacramento River in the area of Red Bluff.

November 29, 2012
Live blog: Tracking the storms in Sacramento, Northern CA

November 28, 2012
Elk Grove cancels celebration of bridge grand opening


A grand opening celebration of Longleaf Drive Roadway and Bridge, 9260 Laguna Springs Drive, Elk Grove that had been scheduled for Thursday morning has been cancelled, city officials said.

While inclement weather has forced the cancellation of the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Elk Grove officials said the new roadway-bridge that connects Laguna Springs Drive and Big Horn Boulevard opened this week.

The vehicular bridge, which goes over Elk Grove Creek, also is pedestrian and bicycle friendly.

Do you know of other events canceled because of the storm? Email

PHOTO CAPTION: Longleaf Drive Roadway and Bridge connects Laguna Springs Drive and Big Horn Boulevard. Photo courtesy City of Elk Grove.

November 28, 2012
SMUD offers advice for possible power outages

By Tony Bizjak

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District offers this advice for possible power outages.

• Become familiar with your service panel location and how to operate the main circuit breaker.

• Prepare a simple emergency kit: a flashlight, battery-operated clock, extra batteries, manual can opener, supply of bottled water

• Have a battery operated radio or television or to get news reports with estimated times that electricity will be restored.

November 27, 2012
Storm Watch: First round of rain, wind arrives

7:52 p.m. Wednesday
Umbrellas are in order today as the first in a series of potentially soaking storms has arrived.

The first storm today is expected to be windy with gusts around 30 mph in the Sacramento region. Rainfall amounts are expected to be around a half inch.

Related stories:

River of storms headed to Northern California

First in series of storms arrives

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